Buddhist Beliefs : Introduction
This article should rightly be called "Buddhists do not believe".
When one talks about religion, it is always about belief in the founder or teacher. Buddhism is the only exeption. In fact the Buddha strongly advised his followers not to simply believe in what he said. He encouraged the use of common sense and human intelligence to analyze his teachings. If after analyzing and one finds the teachings unacceptable, then one is free to disagree and not to accept. In this sense, Buddhist beliefs are different from the other religious beliefs. In other words, there is no blind faith in Buddhism.
This brings out the idea of "good marketing" concept. If you have an excellent product, you have no fear of people rejecting it. You have full confidence in your own product and know that people will buy it! Just present the true facts and benefits of this product, and it will sell by itself.
Let's take electricity. Whether you believe in electricity or not, that doesn't matter; so long as you know how to plug it in and switch on! Likewise, if you place your bare hand on a life wire, you'll be electrocuted. Do you need to believe in electricity?
By the way, do you know who discovered electricity? Michael Faraday. How many people today think of Faraday when they switch on the light each time? None. Do you need to believe in Faraday? So Faraday is irrelevent when we use electricity. His discovery is relevent! So what has this got to do with Buddhism, you may ask. Let's see. When we use electricity, we are not concerned about the discoverer, nor how it works. We are simply happy that electricity works when we plug in and switch on. We need not have to believe in electricity. We know its benefits, and it works.
Buddhism is like electricity. The Buddha is dead and gone, just like Faraday. But his teachings like the laws of electricity are here for us to make use of. We don't have to believe in what the Buddha taught. If his teachings are practical and beneficial, then we just want to follow. Belief is irrelevant, or a non issue.
Buddhist Beliefs : A Buddhist Makes Use Of The Buddha's Teachings
A true Buddhist is one who makes use of the Buddha's teachings because he is convinced that what the Buddha taught is practical and beneficial. He doesn't have to believe in the Buddha. He just need to follow the Buddha's teachings. In very simple language, a Buddhist practises the Buddha's teachings to reduce greed, hatred and delusion so that he will experience inner peace and contentment, living a harmless and noble life.
The bottom line is that "It works"! Nothing to believe.
Buddhist beliefs are like that.
On a lighter note, let's relax with this oldie by Frankie Laine, "I Believe".
Then please watch this very short video by my late Reverend Teacher, who taught me all about Buddhism. This video is only 2.42 minutes and it sums up what I have been writing about.
"I Believe" By Frankie Laine
Nothing To Believe : By My Teacher Ven. Dhammananda
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